Ansible AWX demo environment

As I was planning an Ansible Meetup about the Ansible Automation Platform (AAP, the successor of Ansible Tower) I was contemplating about a demo environment for the attendants. This can be done with ease as it it nothing more than clicky-di-click.

You can imagine that’s not the way I went :-). There is a simple rule in life:
If you can automate it, automate it.

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Let the Cow say moo

When working for a customer I was installing an Ansible Automation Platform cluster and to keep track of all systems I decided to create a nice message of the day, of course with cowsay.

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Getting Ansible info into your playbook

Early this week a co-worker asked if it was possible to access the Ansible command-line in a playbook. It seems that is not the case, in a “normal”, clean Ansible environment. But in the meantime I was creating a playbook that served multiple purposes, stopping and starting services. These playbooks are completely the same, except for the start and stop keywords. Of course I could have solved that with a variabele, either hardcoded or as an extra variable on the commandline. [Read More]

Web Application Firewall and CRS

During my stay at CfgMgmtCamp I attended the presentation of Franziska B├╝hler (@bufrasch) titled “Web Application Firewall - Friend of your DevOps pipeline?”. She talked about Web Application Firewalls (WAF) and the Core Rule Set (CRS) for owasp Being into security and stuff like that myself, I decided I wanted to try to get the web application with ModSecurity up and running in my own test environment. My test environment consists of a CentOS8 machine with NGINX and it turned out to be a little trickier than I thought. [Read More]

Ansible with multiple vault ID's

In our work environment we have role-based access for passwords (of course). But as we deploy all systems with Ansible, we could end up that someone with only deploy permission ends up with access to all passwords. It’s obvious that we don’t want that, so I started checking in to Ansible’s ability to have multiple vault passwords. Ansible Vault IDs Starting with Ansible 2.4 and above, vault IDs are supported. [Read More]

Ansible with loops or lookup

Since Ansible version 2.5 there is a lot of discussion and confusion about the loop syntax. There is also discussion if with_...: will be replaced by loop: deprecating the with_... keywords. Even Ansibles documentation is not clear about this.

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Ansible: One Role to Rule them All

I am a long time Ansible user and contributor (since 2012) and I have been struggling with a decent setup for a multi-environment case. I have been designing and re-designing a lot, until I came up with this design. And what a coincidence, a customer wanted a setup that was exactly this. So this concept is a real world setup, working in a production environment. Did I get your attention? Read after the break, but take your time. [Read More]

Running it through Tattr (part 2)

Some time ago I created a playbook to show the content of a rendered template. When you keep digging in the Ansible documentation, you suddenly stumble over the template lookup-plugin. And then it turns out that my playbook is a bit clumsy. A nicer and shorter way to do it: --- # # This playbook renders a template and shows the results # Run this playbook with: # # ansible-playbook -e templ=<name of the template> template_test. [Read More]

Ansible, loop in loop in loop in loop in loop

A couple of days ago a client asked me if I could solve the following problem: They have a large number of web servers, all running a plethora of PHP versions. These machines are locally managed with DirectAdmin, which manages the PHP configuration files as well. They are also running Ansible for all kind of configuration tasks. What they want is a simple playbook that ensures a certain line in all PHP ini files for all PHP versions on all webservers. [Read More]

Did you run it through TAttr

During my last Ansible training the students needed to create some Ansible templates for them selfs. As I do not want to run a testing template against some, or all, machines under Ansible control I created a small Ansible playbook to test templates. This is the playbook: --- # # This playbook renders a template and shows the results # Run this playbook with: # # ansible-playbook -e templ=<name of the template> template_test. [Read More]

Ansible @ Loadays

Last Saturday I attended Loadays in Antwerp, Belgium. After listening to Jan Piet Mens’s talk about Ansible, I was up for it. At 11:30 sharp, I started my own presentation for an almost packed room. It’s called “Ansible, why and how I use it” and you can find it on SpeackerDeck. It was a lovely talk, with a very knowledgeable crowd. Please, have a look at it and if you have any questions, let me know. [Read More]

Ansible @ CfgMgmtCamp

Last couple of days I attended Configuration Managememt Camp in Ghent, Belgium. On Monday morning we started of with presentations of Mark Burgess (CFEngine), Luke Kanies (Puppet) and Adam Jacob (Chef). Good talks about the future of things. After lunch it got nerdy ans I joined the Ansible room, to see how things went and at 17:00 I started my own presentation for a completely packed room. It’s called ‘Ansible, why and how I use it’ and you can find it on SpeackerDeck. [Read More]

Ansible Day in Antwerp

Today I’m attending the first full day Ansible configuration meeting. This meeting is in Antwerp, Belgium, a drive of almost 2 hours. Thanks to Multi Mho (Maurice Verheesen) I didn’t need to drive, he wanted to try out his nice, new car. It drives perfectly and we arrived about 30 minutes early. For a first meeting of a new tool there where a lot of attendants, amongst others (and I don’t want to forget anybody, so I won’t even try to give a complete list), but below are the people I think that where there. [Read More]

Ansible issue playbook

Playing with Ansible I did get the idea to make a nice welcome message when you log in to a server. This message needs to be placed in a file, which is configured in /etc/ssh/sshd_config with the banner option. I call this file /etc/issue.

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